No. 5 Syracuse midfield dominates in 5-0 victory over Bucknell

first_img Published on September 2, 2017 at 4:23 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ After three straight shutouts on a California road trip to open the season, No. 5 Syracuse (4-0) returned to J.S. Coyne Stadium to host Bucknell on Saturday afternoon. Bucknell did not record a single shot. Meanwhile, the Orange ripped off 18 shots en route to a 5-0 shutout victory, led by an experienced midfield that controlled the contest on both sides of the ball.“Our defense starts our attack,” Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley said. “If we have the ball, we’re all attack. If they have the ball, we’re all defense.”After a sloppy open to the game, with both teams settling in, Syracuse tightened its grip. SU backs Lies Lagerweij and Roos Weers spent most of the first half in Bucknell territory, surrounding Bucknell goalie Emily Finn with 10 opponents around the arc. As Finn dove from left to right, facing a barrage of shots, the Syracuse freshman goalie watched from her cage, about 50 yards away from any action. She touched the ball just once in the first half. During Jennifer Bleakney’s backhand goal to put SU on the board, Laura Hurff and Erin Gillingham crowded the cage, drawing attention from the defense and Finn. As Finn stepped out to keep the pair in check, Bleakney lifted a goal into the back right corner over Finn. The midfield was in the thick of the action. In years past, it struggled to stay on the outside.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Before we would just go up the sideline all the time,” senior Laura Hurff said. “Now we’re trying to break the spine.”Jordan Phelps | Staff PhotographerFive minutes into the second half, Hurff forced herself into Bucknell’s defense again. Weaving between the Bison, Hurff sprinted into the middle of the arc, before dishing the ball to Carolin Hoffmann who scored a backhand goal for her fourth goal of the season. Twenty minutes later, Hurff led the attack. Receiving a pass at midfield, Hurff threaded through Bucknell like Swiss cheese, and raced out to the right of the arc. As Finn and two defenders stepped out to meet Hurff, she ripped a shot across the cage and into the bottom left corner. “I was looking for a back-post pass,” Hurff said. “But she left the corner wide open.”On defense, the midfield has been working back to help keep opponents out of the arc. They succeeded in this game and have all season long. Syracuse has limited its opponents to only 17 shots in four games. The Orange had 18 shots on Saturday.  SU also had no fouls and did not permit a single corner. When the final whistle sounded, Finn had more diving saves, four, than times SU freshman goalie Borg van der Velde touched the ball the entire game, two.“(The defense) is like a wall,” Velde said. “They won’t come through.” Commentslast_img

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